WE’VE received a £50,000 grant from the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) after retrofitting a sprinkler system to Parkside Court.
ECFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Paul Hill, presented the cheque to our Chair, Ursula Heelis, and Chief Executive, Stuart Stackhouse, at Parkside Court in Melbourne Avenue, Chelmsford.
We installed sprinklers in communal landings and each of the 53 flats in the 15-storey tower in six weeks, in support of the ECFRS ‘Think Sprinkler Strategy’.
Despite there being no legal or statutory legislation to retrofit sprinklers, we started working with ECFRS and our residents in February to provide an unobtrusive and visually pleasing system which would help ECFRS fight a fire.
Using the latest sprinkler head designs available, the systems control room as been placed in an existing ground floor storage area to ensure easy access for ECFRS and our contractors.
Dean Davidson, Surveying and Contracts manager, said: “We believe sprinklers offer the most efficient means to give occupants time to escape or be rescued as well as control fires and minimise damage to property.
“While alarms and smoke detectors rely on the fire starting and someone calling the fire brigade, sprinklers start working before the fire service has even been notified. What many people do not realise is that sprinklers use less water than fire hoses - meaning there is not as much water damage after the fires been extinguished - and the chance of a sprinkler going off accidentally is 1 in 16 million.”
“We are extremely pleased to be here today to not only hand over the cheque but also see for ourselves the new sprinkler system,” commented ECFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill.
“Simply put sprinklers provide the best fire protection available. They are proven life savers; there are no recorded cases of multiple fire deaths in premises where sprinklers are fitted. The sprinklers are unobtrusive and you are more likely to win the lottery than an accidental sprinkler actuation.”